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Weekly Cases Update Volume 43, Issue 22

Natural Resources Defense Council v. County of Los Angeles

43 ELR 20180
10-56017 (9th CIr., August 2013)

The Ninth Circuit, on remand from the U.S. Supreme Court, held that pollution exceedances detected at monitoring stations in Los Angeles County were sufficient to establish the county's liability for NPDES permit violations under the CWA. In Los Angeles County Flood Control Dist. v. Natural...


Shell Gulf of Mexico, Inc. v. Center for Biological Diversity, Inc.

43 ELR 20182
3:12-CV-00048, -00010 (D. Alaska, August 2013)

A district court upheld DOI's approval of oil spill response plans an oil company submitted for drilling operations in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas. Despite environmental groups' arguments to the contrary, an environmental review was not required under NEPA since the approvals do not constitute...

Planning and prevention, §311(j)

Banks v. Heineman

43 ELR 20175
S-12-723 (Neb., August 2013)

The Supreme Court of Nebraska held that a 2010 state law that changed the manner in which wind energy generation facilities in Nebraska are taxed is constitutional. As part of legislation passed to encourage the development of wind generation facilities in Nebraska, the state legislature enacted...

Energy (generally), Nebraska

Hawkes Co. v. United States Army Corps of Engineers

43 ELR 20183
13-107 (D. Minn., August 2013)

A district court dismissed a landowner's lawsuit challenging the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' jurisdictional determination for property that contains peat. The Corps issued its jurisdictional determination after the landowner sought permission to mine peat from the property for use in the...

Corps of Engineers jurisdiction, Dredge and fill permits

Century Surety Co. v. DeLoach

43 ELR 20184
13-12-00072 (Tex. Ct. App., August 2013)

A Texas appellate court held that an insurance company has a duty to defend its insured in underlying lawsuits stemming from a sinkhole formed by the insured's waste disposal well operations. The insurance company argued that it had no duty to defend because the insurance policy contains a...

Collection and disposal, Held not to bar, Held triggered by

Sierra Club v. County of Solano

43 ELR 20181
A130682 et al. (Cal. Ct. App. 1st Dist., July 2013)

A California appellate court held that a newly enacted state law that prohibits counties from restricting or limiting the importation of solid waste into a privately owned facility in the county based on the waste's place of origin preempts a voter-approved 1984 initiative measure that severely...

Collection and disposal, Preemption

Bernstein v. Bankert

43 ELR 20185
11-1501, -1523 (7th Cir., July 2013)

The Seventh Circuit held that the trustees of a fund established to finance and oversee the cleanup of a contaminated site near Zionsville, Indiana, may go forward with their lawsuit under CERCLA to recover cleanup costs from the former owners of the site. To the extent that the trustees seek to...

Settlements, §122, Statute of limitations, §113(g)

Montana Wilderness Ass'n v. Connell

43 ELR 20173
11-35818, -3582 (9th Cir., July 2013)

The Ninth Circuit held that BLM's resource management plan (RMP) for the Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument complied with NEPA and the Federal Land Policy and Management Act (FLPMA) but violated the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA). The RMP, which authorizes roads, airstrips...

National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA), Wilderness study areas, National monuments

Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe of Indians v. Nevada

43 ELR 20172
11-16470 et al. (9th Cir., July 2013)

The Ninth Circuit affirmed a lower court decision vacating the Nevada state engineer's approval of the state wildlife agency's application to transfer water rights from agricultural land in the Newlands Reclamation Project to the Carson Lake and Pasture, a wetlands-containing wildlife refuge, in...

Water rights, Irrigation, Water allocation under state law

Soda Mountain Wilderness Council v. Bureau of Land Management

43 ELR 20176
12-35844 (9th Cir., July 2013)

The Ninth Circuit, in an unpublished opinion, affirmed in part and reversed in part a lower court decision denying an environmental group's motion to preliminarily enjoin a BLM-approved timber sale. The district court did not abuse its discretion by ruling that the group failed to raise serious...

Alternatives, §102(2)(E)